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Archive for March 4th, 2013

It’s time to clean house in Washington and retire legislators that are standing in the way of progress in moving this country forward

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

“It’s time for new leadership in Washington – time to clean House of do-nothing legislators; those who are part of the problem and not a part of the solution should be voted out of office, whether Democrat or Republican” – Juanita Bratcher

By Juanita Bratcher

Editor & Publisher, CopyLine Magazine

It’s disgusting and mind boggling that a bunch of old men are determined to obstruct and deride President Barack Obama’s agenda and are shortchanging  the business of America and the American people. And, pathetically, they’re getting paid in the process for their poor job performances!

Can you imagine that? For the last four years we’ve had pretty much an unproductive Congress. If these people worked in the Corporate World they would have gotten pink slips a long time ago. Think about it! Have they done anything significant for the American people in the last four years or so? There’ve been very little work on their part, and very few results, if any. The only things they get an ‘A’ for is squabbling, chaos, bickering and grandstanding. We’ve witnessed this over and over again, and the American people are “sick and tired of being sick and tired” (in the words of Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer) of the “cat skirmishes” and the “dog fights” that have become common place by some members of Congress.

The most recent occurrence was Sequestration. On March 1, 2013, Sequestration set in because Washington legislators didn’t come up with a plan to abort it happening. Their actions will be devastating.

When signing the order authorizing the government to begin spending cuts of $85 billion from federal accounts (results of inaction on Sequestration), here’s what President Obama said:

“None of this is necessary. It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole.”

On the eve (February 28, 2013) of Sequestration setting in, President Obama made the following statement, posted on his website, www.whitehouse.gov:

“Today, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit.  And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families.  They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.

“I believe we should do better.  We should work together to reduce our deficit in a balanced way – by making smart spending cuts and closing special interest tax loopholes.  That’s exactly the kind of plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed.  But even though a majority of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow it an up-or-down vote – threatening our economy with a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our recovery.

“Tomorrow I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward.  As a nation, we can’t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another.  Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington.  We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise.  That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, in a February 28, 2013 press release posted on his website (www.speaker.gov)  had this to say about Sequester:

Embarrassing: Senate Democrats Fail to Pass a Single Sequester Replacement Bill in 15 Months

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement after the Democratic-controlled Senate failed to pass legislation replacing President Obama’s sequester:

“It’s embarrassing that after 15 months Senate Democrats still haven’t passed a single sequester replacement bill.  The American people deserve better.  Republicans in the House passed legislation almost a year ago in May, and again in December, to avert the president’s sequester and help put us on a path to a balanced budget.  Now that today’s political stunt to raise taxes has failed, it’s time for the president and Senate Democrats to do the hard work that is necessary to pass a bill in the Senate so we can begin to resolve this issue.”

We’ve had four years of an unproductive Congress and it seems that the next four years will be moving in the same direction. All of these “manufactured showdowns” between Republicans and Democrats on the Hill are holding this country at bay. And there’s so much negative talk on the part of Washington Republicans. Not only are they trying to deride the president’s efforts but they are ignoring the will of the majority of the American people who voted for Obama. Sure, they were elected by voters, too, but they were elected in individual states and not the country as a whole. Obama was elected by people from many states, all across the country. He won the popular vote and that of the Electoral College. And he had ably laid out his agenda for America if elected to a second term.

For the past four years, the Republican leadership in Congress – in both the House and Senate – has traveled down the same destructive and obstructive pathway. And it appears that we can look forward to another four unproductive years. There has never been so much bickering from such a powerful body that legislates the laws of the land, consisting of representatives from districts all across the country. What happened to the art of compromising if it’s good for the country and its people?

Many of these stop-gap obstructionists are old men still living in the past and it appears that they would rather let the country go to “Hell in a basket” rather than put the country back on track,  just to prove a point – whatever that might be. Since they failed in their quest to make President Barack Obama a one-term president (their outcry when Obama was first elected president) now they have resorted to trying to stifle his agenda for moving the country forward, and the American people are being held hostage in the process.

Many of Obama’s detractors want the American people to believe that everything the Obama Administration proposes will be DOA or will fail. And they have moved to kill off any legislation Obama wants or supports; and they come up with pretentious and false accusations that Obama is divisive and dividing the country – which is an outright fallacy.

There’s not really much at the moment that Americans can do about their obstructionist actions but in 2014 voters will have the opportunity to boot them out of office if they’re up for re-election; not only in Washington but in some states where politicians are trying to take away basic rights from citizens. Don’t you wonder about their purpose, these power grabs and of wanting to strip people of their basic rights as citizens? Is it to make them more subservient because of their power grabs? We, the people, must stand up in defiance of those who show any inklings of that lame philosophy by voting them out of office. Every American is entitled to unalienable rights and the pursuit of happiness.

It is mean-spirited to do things that punish and cause suffering to others for no apparent reason. Those are not the teachings of God and neither is it sound reasoning on the part of those who inflict suffering – whether intentional or not. There are people that are really suffering in this country. And of all things, after Obama announced he would like to see a minimum wage increase of $9.00 the howling started immediately. And many of those who condemned such action had emphatically stood up against a tax increase for the rich many times over. Are they saying the 47% don’t need a decent minimum wage which would barely take care of themselves and their family?

To give Americans a better perspective of what the Sequester is all about, this information was posted on www.whitehouse.gov.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SEQUESTER

The Sequester – What is it?

Harmful automatic budget cuts — known as the sequester — threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.

These cuts will make it harder to grow our economy and create jobs by affecting our ability to invest in important priorities like education, research and innovation, public safety, and military readiness.

Have questions about what the sequester is, and why American families and our national economy face this threat? We’ve put together the explainer below using some helpful background information President Obama laid out in a statement. Check it out:

What Is the Sequester? Why Now?

In the last few years, President Obama and both parties in Congress have worked together to reduce our deficit by more than $2.5 trillion through a combination of spending cuts and increased tax rates.

In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if they couldn’t agree on a plan to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion — including the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction lawmakers in both parties have already accomplished over the last few years — about $1 trillion in automatic, arbitrary and across the board budget cuts would start to take effect in 2013.

“The whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.” —President Obama

“Unfortunately, Congress hasn’t compromised, and as a consequence, harmful cuts — known as the Sequester — begin March 1.

“These cuts will jeopardize our military readiness and eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research, and don’t take into account whether they eliminate some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or cut a vital service that Americans depend on every single day.”

The American people are tired of the squabbling in Washington and they are tired of seeing a failing economy due to a handful of legislators standing in the way of progress, keeping this country from growing the economy and creating jobs so that it will bounce back and continue on the road to a solid recovery.

It’s time to clean House. Those who are part of the problem and not the solution should be voted out of office, and hopefully, American voters will make a strong effort to weed them out and do that in the 2014 elections.

Get smart, America, vote them out of office (whether Democrat or Republican) and put someone there that won’t bicker about anything and everything, but will learn the art of compromising when necessary in doing what’s best for America and the American people – and that is to move this country forward and not engage in those things to divide the country.

Juanita Bratcher is the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com, the author of several books, Songwriter and Poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 37 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

The Sentencing Project Disenfranchisement News: International group critiques U.S. Policies

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

 A REPRINT from The Sentencing Project

International group critiques U.S. policies

 

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) sent a team of observers to monitor the 2012 U.S. general elections. The mission assessed the election implementation procedures’ compliance with OSCE commitments and other international standards as well as national legislation.

In its assessment of the impact of felony disenfranchisement on the elections, the OSCE’s final report notes that “some 5.9 million citizens are estimated to be disenfranchised due to a criminal conviction, including 2.6 million who have served their sentence.” As a result, the report finds the U.S. to fall short of OSCE standards: “The deprivation of the right to vote is a severe penalty and the current restrictions on prisoner and ex-prisoner voting rights lack proportionality and are not in line with paragraphs 7.3 and 24 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document and other international standards.”

 

Israel’s Prisons facilitate voting on Election Day

 

During Israel’s national elections on January 22, the Israel Prison Service allowed 10,800 inmates and detainees to vote at voting stations established in 31 IPS facilities across the country. Voter ID regulations were less stringent than in previous years, when a state ID, driver’s license, or passport was required to vote; this year, prisoner cards were also accepted forms of identification. Voter turnout in Israel’s prisons was 21 percent in the 2009 elections.

“The State of Equality and Justice in America”: The Pendulum Swings between Joy and Despair

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
852
The Eighth op-ed of  a 20-part series: “The State of Equality and Justice in America”
 
 By Laura W. Murphy

 

Let’s just take one day, February 27, 2013, as a snapshot of the state of equality and justice in America.

For me, that day started off tense. The Supreme Court was set to hear oral arguments in the case of Shelby County v. Holder-a constitutional challenge to one of the most effective provisions of any civil rights law in American history: Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

Section 5 requires nine states and assorted jurisdictions in seven others to secure Justice Department approval before changing their voting laws. The civil rights community collectively saw it as an ominous sign that the Supreme Court even agreed to revisit the constitutionality of Section 5. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, almost a century after passage of the 15th Amendment-finally brought full voting rights and a more representative government to the South.

I refuse to be pessimistic because the facts are on our side and the congressional hearing record justifying Section 5 was meticulous. It only takes four Justices to agree to hear a case, but I believe that five justices will uphold the law.

During arguments, the lawyers ably defended Section 5, but they were confronted with clear hostility from conservative justices. Justice Scalia stunned everyone by openly showing contempt for the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA by Congress. “Who wouldn’t,” he asked caustically, “vote for something called the ‘Voting Rights Act’?” He then piled on even more, calling Section 5 a “racial entitlement.” As someone tweeted: Wasn’t voting a white-only racial entitlement prior to the Voting Rights Act?

Contrast these very real challenges with a joyous and historic event that started an hour after the Shelby oral argument right across the street. Inside the United States Capitol, in a ceremony filled with all of the pomp and circumstance afforded to presidents and war heroes, Congress unveiled a life size statue of Rosa Parks. Parks ignited the Montgomery bus desegregation boycott by being arrested for refusing to give her seat to a White passenger. Her statue sits among a cluster of White men encircling the round hall, and falls within the gaze of the statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

At the ceremony were Parks’ family members, a military Color Guard, and the United States Army Chorus, which gave a stirring rendition of the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders all addressed the large crowd with unusual poignancy. And three history-making Black men spoke as well: Rev. Barry Black, the first Black chaplain of the United States Senate; Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the first African American elected to Congress from South Carolina since Reconstruction (as a result of the Voting Rights Act Extension of 1982); and the first Black president, Barack Hussein Obama.

My heart swelled and tears came to my eyes. I felt lifted by how far we have come as a people of African descent in the United States. I was elated that Ms. Parks would be afforded such an honor and granted such universal respect. And I noticed all the Black, Asian-American and Latino members of Congress, whose numbers had tripled, as a result of the VRA, in the three decades since I first stepped foot on Capitol Hill.

As I left the ceremony, beaming, I had a message on my BlackBerry that immediately swung the pendulum back to tense. The Institute of Assets and Social Policy released a study titled “The Roots of the Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide,” which tells a terrible story. As detailed in the report, the wealth gap between White and African-American families has tripled in the last 25 years, driven by dramatic disparities in years of home ownership, unemployment, post-secondary education, generational wealth transfer and financial support among families and friends.

But, after returning home, I am able to read the New York Times, and I get a dose of good news: an article reporting sharply declining rates of imprisonment for African-Americans. Much of that decline is due to the Fair Sentencing Act, a bill that I worked on with my colleagues in the criminal justice reform and civil rights movements, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010 and championed by Attorney General Eric Holder, the first African-American to hold that post. Though a superb development, it’s tempered by the fact that one out of every 13 African-Americans is disenfranchised because of a criminal conviction.

So, that was February 27th for me. Just one day shows that from hour-to-hour the pendulum can swing from joy to despair and despair to joy. That’s the state of equality and justice in America today: conflicted, fickle, and a source of both hope and great concern in virtually equal measure.

Laura Murphy is director, Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). This article – the eighth of a 20-part series – is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today. For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org 

Editor’s Note:

“The State of Equality and Justice in America” is a 20-part series of columns written by an all-star list of contributors to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

The contributors include: U. S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) LCCRUL 50th Anniversary Grand Marshal; Ms. Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL); Mr. Charles Ogletree, Professor, Harvard University Law School/Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice; the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., President/CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Co-founder, Southern Christian Leadership Conference; U. S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.); and 14 additional thought leaders and national advocates for equal justice.

Acclaimed documentary “Death by China” opens at Muvico Friday, March 22

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Provocative new documentary by Director, Best-selling Author and Respected Economist Peter Navarro exposes destructive US-China Trade Relations

 

ROSEMONT, IL – More than 50,000 factories have been shuttered in the United States in the last decade.  More than 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost and today more than 25 million Americans cannot find a decent job.  Anyone hoping to understand why the American economy continues to improve at such an anemic pace need look no further than China’s unfair trade practices, and at the multinational companies, including Apple, Boeing and Caterpillar, that export millions of American jobs to improve their bottom line.  That is the message of “Death by China”, a provocative new documentary feature film directed by Peter Navarro, a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at University of California, Irvine who holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.

“Death by China” will open at Muvico, 9701 Bryn Mawr Ave., in Rosemont Friday, March 22 for a run of at least one week.

“My goal in creating the film is to draw attention to the urgent need for trade reform with China, and to ensure that it becomes a top priority for legislators,” commented director Peter Navarro.  “We hope to give the highest possible visibility to an issue that is all too often ignored by politicians, journalists and consumers alike – the incredibly corrosive loss of America’s once formidable manufacturing base to a cheating China.  The fact that our government has turned a blind eye to China’s deceitful policies has had an enormously negative impact on the American economy and the standard of living of millions of Americans.”

Through compelling interviews with voices across the political and economic spectrum, “Death by China” exposes just how badly the U.S.-China relationship is broken – and why it must be fixed if the world is going to be a place of peace and prosperity.  To Navarro, the success of the film will be measured by the ability of the public to spur politicians to finally recognize that “the best jobs program for America is trade reform with China – not more empty fiscal and monetary stimulus.

”Death by China” is narrated by Martin Sheen and features impassioned appearances by prominent politicians like Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), labor leaders like AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka and Thea Lee, corporate leaders like Leo Hindery and Revere Copper’s Brian O’Shaunessy, astute China watchers like Forbes’ Gordon Chang and Canada’s Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Kilgour, and victims of Chinese oppression like Harry Wu, who spent 19 years of torture and isolation in China’s forced labor camps.

In conjunction with the screenings, a series of panel discussions and town hall-style meetings will be scheduled, including with Director Peter Navarro in attendance following the early evening showtimes on March 22 and 23.  A schedule of events will be released at a later date.

Peter Navarro’s work has appeared in Barron’s, Business Week, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review, among other publications.  He has appeared frequently on Bloomberg TV and radio, CNN, National Public Radio, and all three major network news shows. He is a regular CNBC contributor and has appeared on 60 Minutes. He often produces investment videos for thestreet.com.

For more information on “DEATH BY CHINA,” please visit http://www.deathbychina.com/. “Death by China” is distributed by Area23a.

About Area23a
Distributor
 
Area23a is a bi-coastal, independently owned “event” based theatrical distribution company, co-founded by distribution specialists Richard Abramowitz and Kirt Eftekhar.
 
The company focuses on event driven films, providing value-added distribution through alternative ways to reach audiences across the country, releasing films in convention and community centers, night clubs, casinos, libraries, museums, and college campuses, in addition to traditional venues like theaters, cinematheques and festivals.
 
Area23a distributes award-winning films such as Dan Sturman and Bill Guttentag’s “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” Michael Paul Stephenson’s “Best Worst Movie,” Gerardine Wurzburg’s “Wretches” and “Jabberers,” Adrian Grenier’s “Teenage Paparazzo,” Chris Paine’s “Revenge of the Electric Car” and Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez’s “Burn.”

Senator Kirk’s statement on P5+1 Talks with Iran

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement regarding reports that the United States and its partners offered sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for softened demands:
 
“History shows that appeasement is expensive and highly unlikely to succeed with evil regimes like Iran. We have seen this movie before, in North Korea with the same negotiating team – and we saw the results in North Korea’s most recent nuclear test.  
 
“No sanctions relief should be provided to Iran until the regime complies with its international obligations. 
 
“Allowing Iran to resume trade in gold would drive a significant hole through our financial sanctions and undermine our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.  Instead, we should seek new ways to increase the economic pressure on Iran like cutting off Iranian access to the euro.”
 

Lt. Governor Simon reduces office budget by 12 percent over last two years

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – With the Governor’s budget address set for next week, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced that she is voluntarily requesting a 3 percent cut in her fiscal year 2014 budget. Simon, who voluntarily cut the current fiscal year’s budget request by 9 percent, will achieve savings by reducing personnel and administrative costs.

“Illinoisans are doing more with less, and state leaders need to do the same,” Simon said. “Over the past two years, I’ve cut my own pay and reduced the office budget by more than $250,000. We can all do our part to preserve funding for vital services such as education and public safety.”

For the second consecutive year, Simon is reducing her office’s headcount to achieve savings. She will continue to return one day of pay per month to the state and require her senior staff members to take four furlough days within the year. She is also eliminating her grant-making authority, which will save taxpayers up to $50,000 a year and brings her total cut to 5 percent in fiscal year 2014.

Simon’s office will continue to purchase equipment through Central Management Services (CMS) master contracts, which offer discounted prices on office supplies. Though constitutional offices are not required to follow CMS master contracts, Simon instituted the policy after her inauguration in 2011 to save taxpayer dollars. Printing and equipment expenses are also being reduced.

Despite cutting her office budget by 12 percent since fiscal year 2012, Simon continues to be a state leader in education and ethics reform. She recently released a report on game changing practices that will make college more affordable for students, and helped draft legislation that would create the strongest financial disclosure law for public servants in 40 years. Simon also chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, key river and military base committees and advocates for domestic and sexual violence prevention.

Lt. Governor Simon submitted the reduced fiscal year 2014 spending plan to Governor Pat Quinn in advance of his March 6 budget address. Simon is making the lowest appropriation request for the Office of the Lt. Governor since at least 1992.

The Village of Rosemont opens new state-of-the-art sports facility the Dome at the Ballpark

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Rosemont’s brand new recreational and competitive use baseball and softball arena is largest in North America

 

ROSEMONT, IL. – In November 2012, Rosemont added the Dome at the Ballpark, a state-of-the-art indoor baseball and softball arena, to its already impressively vast and varied list of attractions. Located at 34 Jennie Finch Way, the Dome at the Ballpark is the newest component of the larger facility, the Ballpark at Rosemont, also home to the Stadium at the Ballpark, where the Chicago Bandits play. The 140,000 square-foot facility is poised to become a premiere recreational and competitive destination for baseball and softball players of all ages from across the country. With two indoor diamonds, batting cages and training areas, the Dome at the Ballpark is available to host leagues, tournaments and individual games for youth and adult baseball and softball teams. Facility rentals, private lessons and batting cages are also available to the general public.
 
“Rosemont is the proud home to the Chicago Bandits, the women’s professional softball team, and host to many other Chicago area teams including the Chicago Wolves, Chicago Rush Arena Football, DePaul University Men’s Basketball and the Chicago Sky WNBA franchise,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. “The Dome at the Ballpark will beautifully complement the Village’s other athletic offerings and adds yet another dimension to our growing array of attractions.”
 
Rosemont’s expansive offerings also include MB Financial Park at Rosemont, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont and the Allstate Arena.
 
The Dome is sure to become a “must-see” venue for the Rosemont community as well as sports enthusiasts from around the country. The expansive facility boasts 75-foot ceilings, making it the largest of its kind in North America. The Dome’s facilities include two indoor diamonds with outfield fences, which will accommodate games and practices for baseball and softball, in addition to five batting cages, and training and concession areas.
 
The facility will host both competitive and recreational events and serve as a training ground for amateur and professional players alike. Rosemont’s own Chicago Bandits as well as other major league baseball and softball players already use the Dome to train.
 
Programming at the Dome is intended to cater to athletes of all ages with traveling and in-house leagues, tournaments and games in development for both children and adults. With movable bases, the Dome’s two indoor fields are equipped to host baseball tournaments for young players through age 12 and softball tournaments for players of all ages.
 
Private lessons will be offered at the Dome through both the Chicago Bandits and the Illinois Baseball Academy (IBA). IBA is committed to finding and training coaches who value the opportunity to teach the next generation of players what it takes to excel in all facets of the game and who combine impressive on-field accomplishments with equally outstanding off-field credentials.
 
The Dome at the Ballpark Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday: 4 p.m.  -10 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
 
Private Lesson Rates:
Pitching/Hitting: $55/half-hour
Pitching/Hitting: $100 for a full hour
 
Facility Rental Rates:
Batting Cage: $35/half-hour
Field: $175/hour
Field and Batting Cage: $200/hour
 
For general information on programming, upcoming baseball and softball events, rentals and private lessons, call 847-993-8458, email chris@illinoisbaseballacademy.com or visit www.rosemont.com.
 
Located at 34 Jennie Finch Way, just north of the intersection of Balmoral & Pearl, in Rosemont, IL 60018, the Dome is easily accessible by public transportation via the CTA Blue Line’s Rosemont station. Free, convenient parking is available next to the complex. With the new MB Financial Park at Rosemont just around the corner, there is no better place to enjoy sports and entertainment than the Village of Rosemont. 
 
About The Village of Rosemont, Illinois: Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare International Airport and twenty minutes from downtown Chicago. Rosemont is home to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the Allstate Arena, the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont, MB Financial Park, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, and a host of entertainment and retail venues. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the vision and legacy of founding Mayor Donald E. Stephens. For more information visit www.rosemont.com.

Collaboraction extends world premiere of Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology, “a gripping tale of the Chicago condition,” through April 7

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Crime Scene show image

CHICAGO, IL- Collaboraction Theatre Company announced a four-week extension of their hit world premiere play, Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology, adding 17 more performances for a new closing date of April 7.

Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology is a timely new theatrical reaction to Chicago’s history of violent crime and a call to discover what it might take to create lasting change in our city. The show, a Collaboraction world premiere conceived and directed by Anthony Moseley, couples nonfiction source material such as interviews, articles, and online comments with three true Chicago crimes to raise critical questions surrounding segregation, poverty, the news media, popular culture, and our numbness to it all.

Since opening in mid-February, the play has been universally lauded by the local press, receiving 3 ½ stars from the Chicago Tribune, a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating from the Chicago Sun-Times, a video profile on WTTW-TV Chicago Tonight, and national feature coverage in the March issue of American Theatre Magazine.

Crime Scene is a live docu-drama featuring immersive staging, audience participation and stylized dramatizations of three real Chicago crimes:

  • The 2000 mistaken identity killing of Orlando Patterson, a 12 year old boy playing ball in front of his house in the 6900 block of South Perry Avenue
  • Joseph Coleman aka Lil Jojo’s murder at age 17 over an alleged gang beef fueled by Youtube videos and Twitter posts
  • The savage beating of Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane just blocks from Collaboraction in Wicker Park in 2010

Every performance is followed by a facilitated conversation with the audience about what we as Chicagoans can do about the prevalence of violent crime in our city. Representatives from our Community Partner organizations serve as co-facilitators, helping to guide the discussions alongside the cast and crew. To date, the vast majority of audience members have stayed for the conversations. Through meeting other concerned community members, learning about the many great nonprofits that are working to stem the violence, and openly discussing many conflicting perspectives of the epidemic, these conversations provide our audiences a bright spark of hope within this dark subject matter.

Press accolades include:

Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology, far and away the best Collaboraction show I’ve seen these past 14 years, is indeed a call for collaborative action…There is something particularly special about this cast. Three and a half stars.” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“…There is something about the 85-minute Crime Scene that is so direct, visceral, youthful and winningly honest (meaning not at all predictably politically correct) that you might at least find yourself listening again – willing to get beyond the overload of disgust, impotence and sense of futility…Conceived and expertly directed by Anthony Moseley, Crime Scene has the feel of a streetwise Greek tragedy as it employs elements of history, testimony, song and hip-hop oration.”   – Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

“…a gripping tale of the Chicago condition that gets to the heart of our suffering.”– Mark Konkol, Pulitzer-Prize winning crime writer for DNAinfo.com

The success of this work as theater indicates its potential to reach beyond its black box space and start vital conversations, and yes, even incite actions needed to staunch the flow of blood in Chicago streets…– Erika Mikkalo, StageandCinema.com

Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology will continue through April 7 at Collaboraction on the 3rd floor of the Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 7 pm.  There is no performance on March 17. There are two added Industry Nights Monday, March 18 and Monday, April 1 at 7 pm. Tickets are $30; $15 for students, educators and industry. Purchase tickets online at www.collaboraction.org or call 312.226.9633. Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology runs approximately 85 minutes, followed each night by a facilitated discussion. The show is recommended for ages 15 and up due to violence and mature content.

According to director, co-deviser and Collaboraction Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, “the inspiration for Crime Scene came from a need to create work connected to important issues in our community. I strive to create a visceral experience that will awaken and spur personal change. I believe theatre can serve a critical role in addressing the issue of violence by offering Chicagoans a transcendent artistic experience that forces us to confront and question the core elements of the senseless violence.” 

Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology is co-devised by an ensemble of community activists and Chicago theater professionals from diverse neighborhoods throughout the city. Co-devisers include Scott Baity Jr., Victoria Blade, Sara Carranza, Luis Crespo, Miranda Gonzalez, Michael Johnson, Eddie Jordan III, Laura Korn, James Lynch, Patrese McClain, Eamonn McDonagh, Niall McGinty, Medina Perine, Shavac Prakash, Adam Seidel, Lisandra Tena and Eric Walker.

Ensemble members performing in the production include Scott Baity Jr., Victoria Blade, Luis Crespo, Michael Johnson, Eddie Jordan III, Laura Korn, Patrese McClain, Eamonn McDonagh, Niall McGinty, Medina Perine, Shavac Prakash and Lisandra Tena. 

Designers include John Wilson (set and technical direction), Jeremy Getz (lights), Livui Pasare (video), Elsa Hiltner (costumes) and Angela Campos (props). Samantha Chavis is dramaturg. Fight choreography is by David Woolley. Sara Carranza is stage manager. Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology is produced by Sarah Moeller.  Production management is bySusanne Hufnagel.

Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology – Takin’ it to the Streets

Following its debut at Collaboraction, all partners will engage in extensive outreach to bring Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology to diverse audiences and neighborhoods in Chicago.Week-longneighborhood residencies culminating in a live performance will be held in the spring and summer of 2013 in city parks and community centers across Chicago. Collaboraction is working with the Chicago Parks District and its many Community Partners to create a local tour in order to bring the project to a broad and diverse audience. Local residents will be interviewed before each outreach performance to incorporate and create a neighborhood-centric focus. A limited number of tickets will be reserved to each performance for youth and victims of violent crime.  In addition, Collaboraction will construct an outdoor theatre at several locations – outdoor performance platforms that will remain as community assets, leaving a lasting imprint long after the show is over.

Collaboraction is a Chicago-based arts organization of collaborative theater and experience makers focused on becoming a national leader of contemporary theater. By incorporating innovative artists and interdisciplinary collaboration, Collaboraction audiences are sure to experience groundbreaking theatrical and arts-based events.

Anthony Moseley serves as the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of Collaboraction, where he has produced over 50 productions, 12 SKETCHBOOK Festivals and over 250 events since the company’s founding in 1999. In 2000 Moseley co-founded the annual SKETCHBOOK Festival, which was lauded by Kerry Reid of the Chicago Reader as “the premiere short play festival in the Midwest.” Under Moseley’s direction, SKETCHBOOK has produced 158 world premiere short plays in a mixed media environment with music and visual art and this year the 13th annual SKETCHBOOK will include 4 programs of works between 7 and 60 minutes. Moseley’s Collaboraction directing credits include the world premieres of El Grito Del Bronx (a co-production with Teatro Vista in association with the Goodman Theatre), The Pull Toy (and His Pasian), and Heroes and Villains; Chicago premieres of dark play or stories for boys by Carlos Murrillo, Be a Good Little Widow by Bekah Brunstetter, Refuge (2000 Jeff Citation nomination for Best Direction), The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union, Trueblinka and Guinea Pig Solo; as well as Mud, To Kill a Mockingbird, and numerous world premiere short plays for the SKETCHBOOK Festival.

For more information, visit www.collaboraction.org.

Photo Caption: By  Cesario Moza

Music Institute Artist in Residence Tammy McCann joins Stellar Jazz Faculty March 21-24 at Jazz Showcase

Posted by Newsroom On March - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Premier Chicago jazz vocalist Tammy McCann, artist in residence at the Music Institute of Chicago, performs with Music Institute Jazz Studies faculty March 21–24 at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago.

Joining McCann are Jazz Studies faculty members Jeremy Kahn, piano; Stewart Miller, bass; Ernie Adams, drums; Director Audrey Morrison, trombone; Victor Garcia, trumpet; and guest Pat Mallinger, saxophone. The Reunion Jazz Orchestra performs with the group Sunday, March 24.

“The Jazz Showcase performances demonstrate the importance of having working musicians teach young jazz students,” said McCann. “The Music Institute’s Jazz Studies program has Chicago’s foremost jazz instructors, who are re-creating the ‘apprenticeship method’ of teaching the art of jazz. As artist in residence, I have had the pleasure of performing with each of them individually and am looking forward to exploring our combined musical ideas on one stage.”

“How will the next generation of jazz artists be developed? The Music Institute of Chicago believes that excellent training in the jazz arts should include regular interaction between students and highly accomplished professional musicians,” commented Music Institute President and CEO Mark George. “Jazz musicians have traditionally been developed through an informal cycle of mentorship and apprenticeship. Improvisation is a skill that you learn in the course of performing alongside more experienced players. The intimate eco-system that ideally exists in small jazz ensembles, and the necessary level of communication, must be demonstrated by master musicians. Because jazz is a relatively young art form, there is great reliance on professional mentors to pass along important oral traditions.”
 
George continued, “This is where the Music Institute’s Jazz Studies program shines. Students receive regular instruction from professional, working musicians. Faculty members jump in to play with student ensembles, enhancing the experience and passing on vital musical information.”
 
Upcoming jazz mentorship opportunities at the Music Institute
Tammy McCann offers a master class, “So You Want To Be A Jazz Singer?” Saturday, April 6, 1–3 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. The class is free and open to the public.

Music Institute of Chicago Jazz Studies Director Audrey Morrison leads two sessions of The Art of the Jazz Band Camp, a week-long intensive with Jazz Studies faculty, June 17–21 at its Evanston campus, 1490 Chicago Ave., and June 24–28 at its Winnetka campus, 300 Green Bay Rd. For information, visit musicinst.org/jazz-camp.

Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, the Music Institute’s teachers and arts therapists reach more than 10,000 students and clients of all ages and experience levels at campuses in Evanston, Winnetka, Highland Park, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest and Downers Grove, as well as through its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools. The Music Institute offers lessons, classes, and programs in four distinct areas: the Community School, Academy, Institute for Therapy through the Arts, and Nichols Concert Hall.
 
Music Institute of Chicago Artist in Residence Tammy McCann and Music Institute Jazz Studies faculty perform Thursday, March 21 through Saturday, March 23 at 8 and 10 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 at 4 p.m. at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago.
 
For information call 312.360.0234 or visit jazzshowcase.com. For information about Tammy McCann’s free master class April 6 at Nichols Concert Hall or The Art of the Jazz Band Camps in June, call 847.905.1500 or visit musicinst.org/jazz-studies.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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